Bridging the gap between talents, academe, technologies, industries and Japan’s Digital Transformation (DX) Overdrive
From an observer’s periscope view after the COVID-19 Pandemic situation, joining hands to reaccelerate economic activities of the country is the most desired thing to do. Prior to the pandemic, Japanese leaders have long promoted productivity improvements to drive economic growth. That has become an even greater priority as the country’s low birth rates and rising life expectancy have reduced the domestic workforce (those aged 15 to 64 years) to 59.7 percent of the total population. Even with efforts to hire more women, retirees, and foreign workers to boost the labor pool, Japan’s demographic shift threatens to stall GDP growth for the next decade.
With increased competition for talent and pressure to innovate, training and reskilling workers has become a national challenge. Few managers have the resources to help workers adapt to rapidly changing technologies, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises. Workers also need more flexibility to go where their skills and training are most in demand. Companies can partner with government agencies to create a more end-to-end approach that includes developing training programs and helping match graduates with employers.
To help in filling in the gap based on the above given statement, the aim of the Digital Transformation (DX) Talent Resource Development is to enlist the unseen huge population of talent resource from the foreign migrants particularly from the youth and women residing in Japan. The approach is to provide specialized training diploma courses on digital transformation enabling technologies i.e. AI, IoT, Blockchain etc provided by a private senmon gakko - the Tokyo Blockchain Academy.
After a year of acquiring knowledge and skills, another year of internship program in collaboration with Japanese companies who are on the track to digital transformation follows. The expected outcome is to fill the needed talents to sustainably drive the DX initiative of the company who hosted the internship program.
DX culture promotion is part and parcel of the whole initiative that gives importance in connecting CEOs’ and business leaders to boost their company’s digital transformation drive. The activities includes calling for a global forum of CEO’s with global DX experts, holding quarterly forums and internet platforms that bridges experts, academe, talents, technologies, industries and as a whole - the Japan DX overdrive.
In 2020, the great nation of Japan stood as the world’s third largest economy, underpinned by an endowment that includes a top education system, leadership in sectors such as industrial and automotive manufacturing, high-quality infrastructure, as well as a professional culture infused with a strong work ethic and repeatable methods to produce high-quality goods and services.
Yet, Japan’s productivity has gone from stagnant to declining, a course that needs imminent reversal to remain globally competitive. On the rise are competing nations making significant productivity gains through the development of technical talent, and the application of proven digital technologies that include cloud based infrastructure and software, mobile devices and apps, machine learning and deep learning, and many others.
The technologies to build a digital future can be set up in the cloud today with a few clicks, and it has never been simpler to hire talent from around the globe, or build talent up leveraging the wealth of online courses and code available. In the coming decade, Japan needs to make a definitive and far-reaching commitment to digitization. Absent such a change, current GDP growth and productivity rate trajectories suggest that economies such as India and Germany would overtake Japan beyond 2030. This loss of competitiveness would in turn undermine Japan’s strengths, and be an unfortunate outcome given the country’s intrinsic potential.
Incrementalism will not close the digital competitiveness gap. Japan must undertake some transformative steps which we call Big Moves – concerted efforts by major industries or stakeholders to reform their operations, capitalize on emerging trends, and embed digital technology across the value chain.
The Big Moves called for by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) are indeed a wakeup call for SEELS Co., Ltd., a registered limited company under Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau, to establish Digital Transformation (DX) Talent Resource Development. A social enterprise investment in Education Technology (EdTech) to help bridge the gap between talents, academe, technologies, industries and Japan’s DX overdrive. Out of eleven Big Moves of ACCJ, Seels focus is on the three Big Moves below as an important key enablers that are going to accelerate the rest of the eleven Big Moves.
Big move 1: Develop a deep bench of world-class talent literate in cloud tools, software development, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies and ways of working
Big move 2: Drive broad-scale upskilling across the workforce by shifting from traditional to adaptive learning to build digitally relevant skill sets
Big move 3: Drive end-to-end digitization of education sector from preschool to tertiary education with solutions for school and educator efficiency, as well as student access 6